This is my first review of the Hestia & Hyperion!
These devices stayed in Sochi for several days, a total of 6 people heard them (photos above), listening in two systems - in my Single Ended type 45 triode system & full-range 10" paper-cone speakers at 8 ohm, and solid-state one (Cyrrus amps) and Dynaudio 25 monitors at 4 ohm. In general (I will say this) my words will express the collective opinion of our Sochi local audiophile community.
Here everything is expected at a high level. It's almost no flaw.
Reliable packaging with extra corner protection.
The all-metal casing is black, also available in Silver.
Looks and weights solid. The blue LED indication is dim and does not hurt the eyes. The layout of the device is competent and the assembly is at the highest level.
The dimensions correspond to the Denafrips Pontus DAC. As far as I know, the front panel of the Hestia & Hyperion are much thicker and matches the Denafrips Terminator DAC.
The preamp with segment indicators looks beautiful, but i wished the knobs could also be made of metal. (The knobs are aluminum)
Since the device is fully balanced (XLR-interonnects aren't supplied by manufacturer), I used, handcrafted by my own technology, XLR-interconnects made of vintage (1940's) single-core Western Electric wires.
Balanced inputs are spaced apart - don't plug the left and right XLR-connectors into the sockets located nearby. The proper sockets belong to the same channel are the right IN1 and IN2 and the left IN2 and IN1. That is, if you want use IN1 input, you must connect the right located XLR-socket and second one located the far left .
Amplifiers easily nestled on the shelf next to the Pontus and Soundaware D100PRO, and, in general, made up a single ensemble.
The music files was fed from the Soundaware D100PRO streamer over the digital balanced interface (AES) to the Denafrips Pontus DAC, from the DAC by balanced interconnects to the input of the Hestia. Hestia has only 3 inputs: two balanced and one unbalanced RCA. It connects with Hyperion amp by balanced interconnect only.
The outputs on the speakers are, as I understand it, Furutech - you can use the blades, 4mm-bananas or clamp the bare acoustic core. Everything will be connected securely.
Make sure not to short the positive and negative speaker terminals, due to true balanced scheme of the amp!
The right knob is a logarithmic volume control.
The left knob is the master button on / off / mute / selector
rotation - input selector
press once in standby mode — turn on
press once during operation - mute function
long press - turn off to standby
Double Bass Fusion
Middle Eastern Bop
I had fears that I would feel a bit digital or syntetic in sound and this would be a sentence , but thank God, the fears were not justified. Sound is clear, powerful and analog-like, without any bloom or over-saturation. The dynamic is strong and energetic - which is expected from a high-quality solid-state amplifier.
A good controlled bass, a pleasant mids, crystal clear highs, fast attacks, but fades is a bit shorts. In general, it is heard without tension, natural timbres, instruments, their texture is transmitted correctly. It conveys emotion well. I enjoyed it all.
But there are some problems with soundstage depth and resolution on the deeper layers. Some minor details and far located layers transmitted in my tube system are lost here somewhere on the way.
In our opinion, Hestia & Hyperion needs more break-in time as usual, due to many capacitors, discrete resistors and relay inside. But we can say - this is the good sound for money!
Overall rating: GOOD
Credit: Review by Mikhail Smagin (also known as Pitbul34 at head-fi.org, aka Angelicus at dastereo.ru)
(Google translated from Russian. Edited 13th March 2019)